—A Day in the Life—

This is the fourth week of the Not Back to School Blog Hop over at Life with My Three Boybarians. This week’s theme is A Day In the Life.

My goal this year is to stick as close to our schedule as possible. My oldest and I thrive on a strict schedule, although I have secret dreams of a go with the flow unschooling approach. However with dividing my time between four boys, it’s best that I keep myself on a very detailed schedule. More schoolwork gets finished and our days end on a happier note.

With that said, I don’t have a TIMED schedule. We use workboxes and blocks of time. Here is *perfect* day in our life.

7am-8am Get everyone up and going. Make beds, dress, prepare breakfast.

After breakfast or sometime before 9am, we have circle time. Nathan joins us for memory verse work and bible lesson before heading off to start his independent work. Kaleb, Gabriel, and I have calendar time. We’re working on memorizing the days of the week. Included in our calendar time are time, money (counting the days), 100 chart, and place value with straws. I need to finish the temp and weather charts so we can add them as well. We do LOTW activities during this time too.

After that I help Kaleb start on his workboxes. We try to have journaling, copywork, phonics or math game, and OPG finished before lunch. He has tons of little breaks in between all of that. While he works on copywork and a game, I work with Nathan on his math. Nathan usually has his journaling, copywork, math, spelling, independent reading, and WW finished before lunch.

Lunch is between 11am and 12pm, depending on how our day is going. After lunch I put the baby down while Nathan washes up the dishes, and the middle two watch a little Noggin or LeapFrog.

We do history and science during naptime. We rotate both each day in case Drake wakes up early from nap so we’ll study both at least twice a week, although we shoot for four times a week on both.

After they finish their narrations and activities for science and history, they go back to the workboxes. I work with Nathan on English while Kaleb does some fun copywork or a game. Somewhere in there both older boys have 30 minutes of computer time for fun. Kaleb and Gabriel have a 30 minute art time where we either do a fun lotw craft, paint, or color.

We try to finish up by 2pm but usually it’s closer to 3pm. As long as we’re finished before the ps kids get off the bus by 3:30, everyone is happy!

Gabriel spends his day rotating from doing workbooks with Mom to playing some fun educational independent games (color matching and sorting type stuff) to playing with his toys to watching some Noggin to sitting on my lap while I read from our science and history books and library books.

Drake plays, plays, plays and plays. =) He also likes to sit on my lap and listen to stories or *help* me teach the olders. I try to spend one-on-one time with Drake during the older boys’ break times.

I try to keep evenings completely school-free so they can spend that time outside with friends or at various activities. We school full-time four days a week and part-time on Fridays, only doing phonics for Kaleb, English and WW for Nathan, and math for both. Starting next month we’ll have afternoon co-op classes on Fridays so that works out perfectly.

My day is BUSY! =) Juggling four children, housework, and meals keeps me going but I love it. I do get my own free time and I love when we finish up early. Most days are REALLY good days….as long as I stick to my schedule!!

Go HERE to read more Day In the Life stories!!

Week 4— August 24-28th

I can’t believe it’s been four weeks!! We have done pretty well with staying on track, only getting behind schedule a couple times but easily catching up.

Nathan is adjusting well with his work load. I think it helps that the public school kids are now in school too so he isn’t rushing to finish. His goal is to be finished completely by 3:30 pm…when the school bus stops at our street to drop off his friends.

Kaleb is doing GREAT! He is truly an excited little student! We struggle sometimes with the “I’m bored” attitude, especially when it comes to phonics. However overall he loves learning and often will ask when he can do more school work.

Gabriel is sponging as much as he can! I think he can tell you just as much about the ancients as my older two. I wonder what will be left to teach him when he reaches kindergarten! He loves his own little preschool lessons and continuously asks to *do school like Nathan and Kaleb*. I have added some fun workbooks to his schedule and that seems to be helping his need to be like his older brothers.

Drake is doing well in Tot school. I haven’t had a whole bunch of time to work specifically with him, but he enjoys the time we do manage together. His favorite time, I think, is when I read books to all of them. As soon as he seems me pull books from the bookshelf or library boxes, he runs to the couch and then climbs in my lap. He starts pointing at pictures before I can even start reading.

We were suppose to go out of town with Daddy this week, but that was pushed back until next week. He needed to take one of his guys with him but didn’t want to pay for another hotel room. We’ll join him next week. That gives me a little more time to plan a few more fun things for them anyway. Besides we have had a busy week here at home.

Preschool Corner–Week 3

Gabriel 3 yrs, 3 months old

We had a lot of unstructured fun this week. Since the first day of public school was Wednesday, we made that a FUN day. You can read about it HERE.

This is a new activity that I made for Gabriel. I found the idea on another homeschool mom blog but I don’t remember to give credit! Just a fun little color matching game. I painted 10 little circles made out of paper plates and five matching color clothespins. I just used the paint colors I had on hand for this. He enjoys playing with the set. We also use the clothespins for a color pattern game. I put down green, red, green, red, and green; then ask him what the next color is in the sequence. We have only been working on ABABAB series because it took him a bit to figure it out. Next week we’ll work on AABBAABB and maybe add a third color to the pattern.

This my child who can JUMP UP and fall down into the SPLITS!! lol He is so funny when he does this. I am looking into a preschool tumbling/gymnastics class for him.
A fun pattern game that I printed from the MEP yahoo group files sections. I give him a pattern to copy by color. (the little white paper is his pattern to copy) We get to talk about colors, shapes, and following directions!
Our letter of the week was Cc. Both Kaleb and Gabriel made their tactile letter with cotton…and I just now realized I failed to get a picture. We read several books on cats. Our bible lesson was on Daniel in the lion’s den. We read the book, story in the bible, and then an different version story online about a scaredy cat. All three older boys made lions with yarn tails which I failed to photograph as well. I will just tack on those pics next week.

Our memory verse for the week: Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God. Isaiah 41:10a.

He spent quite a bit of this week of his week playing with Catalpa worms and his brothers. The pictures of the worms (that are from the caterpillar family) are on my weekly report for the olders.

He keeps asking for “pages to do for school” like his older brothers so I have some preschool workbooks that we’ll add in next week. He already started a sticker math book this week but I didn’t get a picture of it.

Another great week down! I can’t believe we’re starting week 4 on Monday! We’ll be out of town with Daddy so a lot of fun pictures to come from that week! We have trip to the zoo and science center planned.

Week 3–August 17-21

Cleaned and organized our homeschool room. This pic is our our main storage. Look how neat and organized….with room to spare!! Can’t see the bottom shelf…but it’s BARE!! lol

The boys have been playing with these guys lately. It does freak me out a bit but boys will be boys…. Catawba worms aka Catalpa worms aka prized fish bait. My boys don’t want to fish with them. They want to make them pets!!

Working on a base 10 game. (The math is book is NOT his btw! It belongs to his brother.)
I have been working on putting together some storage boxes for each of the younger three with fun activities that they can choose throughout the day. I have a little slip of paper that says “FUN BOX ACTIVITY” that I will put in a workbox file or two each day. All of the games/activities are educational and most free printables I found online. The top box is for Drake, middle for Gabriel, and the bottom box for Kaleb. I have discovered that I will be quickly upgrading the shoe boxes for bigger boxes soon.

I originally thought to list each week what went into their workboxes, but so much of it is the same anyway. =) No reason to repeat that over and over. Instead we’ll just have a lot of pictures and a list of accomplishments. Really everyone mostly likes looking at the pictures anyway, right?

We took Wednesday off to have a fun day since all the public school kids were back in school. The boys enjoyed it. Between the fun day and the storms all day Wednesday, we were a little lazy and out of the groove. Still accomplished some schoolwork, but not what I expected. I let Kaleb play fun math and phonics games most of the day instead of doing some of his math and phonics lessons. Still learning, though!!

What did we accomplish??

R&S English lessons 5-7 plus worksheets
Saxon math lessons 14-17
MEP math lessons 1-2

OPGTR lessons 36-38 (we had to break up some of the bigger lessons into 2 days)
ETC lessons-taking a small break as we make some “books” using the sentences in th OPG books. I’ll share those next week.
MEP math lessons 6-9
Saxon math-we’re just doing some fun hands-on activities from the book now. Nothing formal…just fun.
ABC bible lessons-letter Cc

MOH-finished week 2, started week 3.
Apologia finished lesson 2
Memory verse-Fear thou not, for I am with thee: be not dismayed, for I am thy God. Isaiah 41:10a

Yesterday we took it easy. Nathan and I worked on his writing assignment from R&S English. He is really needing some hand-holding in this area. I may need to look for a very simple writing program to go along with the English assignments. I can’t believe how little (if any really) writing instruction was given to him in public school. Kaleb spent the day playing some math and phonics games, and working on his handwriting with fun activity.

Last night Kaleb and I had this conversation:

Last night–Kaleb “MOM! We did do any schoolwork today!” Yes we did. You did two math games, a phonics game, and a handwriting activity. “That’s not real schoolwork! Please can we do REAL schoolwork tomorrow?” Yes, Kaleb. “Promise?” Promise.

We will be out of town with Daddy again next week. Should be interesting!! We have plans to visit the zoo and the science center.

Happy Back To Public School Day!!!

Today was the first day of public school so we celebrated by NOT having school today!!!

Nathan still wants to go back to public school (for all the wrong reasons though) so I thought we’d have a celebration day just to remind him that we are free to do fun, spontaneous things…any day we want.

We stayed up late last night. The boys were actually watching a show on sharks and it was going to end late anyway. I put Drake to bed at his bedtime so the older boys and I could really enjoy our lat night. (Drake is NOT a night owl!!) Gabriel and Kaleb fell alseep on the couch, and Nathan was ready for bed by midnight.

I let them sleep in this morning and wake up on their own time. They played outside for a while this morning, and then we left to go eat pizza at our favorite pizza place

After that we headed to a pool party with our homeschool group.

I didn’t tell the boys of our plans until this morning. Nathan thought it is very cool that he got to play today while all his neighbor friends and his cousins were sitting in school. Kaleb ran up and hugged me…and said thank you about a million times!

…..so I guess my plan WORKED!!

They had a blast at the pool party and met some new friends. This is our first year to really participate with the group. We are all signed up for co-op classes, and I volunteered as the co-op nursery director. Even Gabriel has three classes this time!

Classes start Sept 11th and are three hours long on Friday afternoons. I love that we don’t have to re-arrange our schedule for co-op this year!! We generally don’t do much on Friday afternoons as it is.

First hour classes:
Nathan-CSI class. LOVE this!! It’s a book that is Christian-based so I know the gore will be kept to a minimum.
Kaleb-art class
Gabriel-Frog Street Press math class

2nd hour classes:
Nathan-backgammon (he is sooo excited for this!!)
Kaleb-games (mostly a time for K-3 to socialize with fun board games)
Gabriel-naps/snacktime (for those who don’t nap , they will play outside on the church playground. On bad weather days, they will have fun games and storytime.)

3rd hour classes:
Nathan-recycle art
Kaleb-fun history class
Gabriel-Frog Street Press reading class

I will be in the nursery most times with Drake. I’ll have helpers so I’m hoping to be able to check out each of the boys’ classes each Friday. I hope to help with Kaleb’s game hour and especially excited to check out Nathan’s CSI class. I’m interested to see how well Gabriel does in his classes. I know the outside play and storytime will be a piece of cake for him. Can’t wait to see how the other two classes go.

Fun activities!!

These cool printables came from daniellesplace.com in the homeschool bible lesson section. Lessons ABCD are free. These bees and beehives will be used for a math game and a phonics game….when I get them cut out! =)

Upside down fruit loops graph!! Fun learning snack time!!
Here are three seperate activities. The first is a domino fact families activity. The second is an activity for preschool MEP math users that I found in the MEP yahoo group files. The third is a really cool M&M graph activity!
All of the pages are laminated so we can use them over and over again!!

This little game is a color match game. I cut out the inside of some paper plates (only so they would fit nicely in a ziplock bag, painted the middle and five clothespins each. Gabriel has already enjoyed playing this little game.

All of these games and printables came from different sources. I’ve had them printed for a while, but didn’t laminate them until recently. I’ll have to dig through my files and see where I found them if anyone is interested.

Give-away on Loving My Life as a Mother and a Wife blog.

I stumbled across a cool blog give-away this evening and just had to share (…and enter!!).

I love summer but I am so ready for fall…crunchy leaves, cool evenings, and pumpkin pie (my favorite). I am really excited for leaf printings and art projects involving acorns. My oldest is enjoying cooking and baking so of course I’ll put a recipe for pumpkin pie in his workbox a time or two. I also plan to start our nature study when it cools off some. I love Bronwyn’s idea of pumpkin playdoh. We may have to try that out!!

Head on over to Bronwyn’s blog to read more about her awesome give-away!!

My students!!

First, this is our school mascot!! Drake is my BABY. He is a little sweetie who loves playing with his older brothers and cuddling with his mom and dad. He is also a new student of Tot School.

Nathan is my LIGHT. He is my first born and always showing me things. He is a bit eccentric which I think is incredibly cool. He sees most things differently than I do so I am always learning from him. He is almost 12 years old and in the 6th grade.
Kaleb is my JOY. He is a people-pleaser, like his mama. He loves to make people happy. He is always thinking of others, and would give the world to someone if he could. This sweet peach is five years old and in kindergarten.
Gabriel is my WONDER. He is in awe of….everything. He truly delights in the little things, and I love it! He sees the good in everyone….and lets everyone know. He is a wild one who keeps everyone on their toes. He is three years old and in preschool.

I can’t believe I have the privilege of teaching these young guys!! I LOVE my job!!

Go on over to 3Boybarians to meet more students!!

Week 2–Tot School August 10-14

This is Gabriel’s bear sorting activity explained below.

He went on a hunt for RED items. Drake sorting beans.

lGabriel’s bee!!
Gabriel LOVES his math sticker book!!

My first week to report our Tot School!!

I’ve been trying to come up with some fun activities for my littles. Gabriel (3) is easy. He wants to “do school” all day, everyday. After watching Drake put everything and anything into a clothes basket, bucket, cup, bowl, bag, dirty clothes basket (!), trash (!!)…I finally took the hint and have been putting together some sorting items for him. Now I wonder if my new I-phone that is now mia was placed in the trash by my little organizer….

Here is a look at our 2nd week of Tot School:

Drake LOVED scooping the beans from the bowl to the ice cube tray! I gave him a little spoon but he put that down and just used his fingers.

He *helped* me all week with the yard sale by rearranging everything on ground level in our front yard. He also *helped* by pulling clothes down to be put back into the storage totes. He greeted people as they came into our yard, and gave many great big Drake smiles. We spent the majority of our Wed, Thur, Fri, and Sat outside, and he loved spending so much time outdoors.

Gabriel’s favorite activity of the week was this little sorting game. I just made rings out of pipe cleaners in red, blue, green, and yellow. Then dumped the bears next to him. He jumped right on it, already knowing what I expected him to do! He kept asking for help and I quickly realized he just wanted some one-on-one time with me like his older brothers. I sat down with him and talked to him about his activity. He said “where does this color go?” I said “where do you think?” He said “here!” =) He just wanted some Mama time!!

Gabriel also did a few crafts this week from our bible lessons plans. This week’s letter was Bb. He enjoyed the tactile letter this week….BEANS!! We also made a little bee book (we have yet to decide what to put in it). He and Kaleb worked together on the bee mobile.

I think he has been most excited this week to sing the days of the week song to the Adam’s Family tune!! lol He jumps up and down when it comes time to sing!! I’m not trying to teach him the days of the week, but his older brother Kaleb. Try telling that to Gabriel though!!

He loved being outdoors more too this week. He greeted everyone with a “We have more customers!! Don’t worry. It’s all for sale. It’s our garage sale!” He also sent everyone off with a “hey! That’s ours! You can’t take that!” lol Everyone giggled at him while I apologized and tried (over and over) to explain the yard sale to him. I’m still not sure what he thought was suppose to happen.

I have loved doing more constructive things with Gabriel. He is so fun to be around in general, but his excitement for his own *school time* is such a blessing to see.